In a new essay, ocean advocate (and Azula favorite) Adrian Grenier makes a simple request: Stop using plastic straws.
In the essay, which you can read on Refinery29, Grenier explains how he came to love the ocean, from the day he became PADI-certified, and how he quickly learned the negative effects human lives are having on the ocean.
"It was on the set of 'Entourage' that I began to realize our level of conspicuous consumption was out of control," he writes. "We were shooting scenes less than a mile away from shore, and yet no one ever thought about the damage that our trash was wreaking on the ocean."
Grenier has done a lot to help the ocean, including working with Oceana and starting the Lonely Whale Foundation. But there's one thing he does that he says is simple, that allows him to start a conversation about ocean conservation with everyone he meets.
"I’ve stopped buying straws and have started asking servers, baristas and bartenders not to serve them to me," he says. "It's a simple request that is in my control, and it helps me start a conversation around ocean health. And that matters."
While not using straws alone won't save the ocean (it's only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of society's addiction to plastic), Grenier says straws are so commonplace that refusing them provides frequent opportunity for everyday people to preach about the importance of reducing our plastic consumption.
"So, while it is a small change, refusing plastic straws is also a crucial step in supporting an individual-led culture of conscious sustainability," Grenier writes. "If every 20- and 30-something declined plastic or opted for a sustainable straw each weekend, we could eliminate 500 million plastic straws every month."
Most importantly, though, he encourages readers to embrace their inner environmentalist and not to shy away from conversations about important issues like ocean conservation.
"I truly believe that if we share our struggles, we can overcome them together," he says.
Learn about how you can help vulnerable marine animals by signing up with Oceana.